My choreographic work is in constant dialogue with the generative practices (teaching, producing, training) that make up my artistic identity. They all support my efforts to create performances that use clear movement choices to share something both honest and personal
Framed by simple dramaturgical choices, I design improvisation structures that create a space for endless exploration and active physical problem-solving. From my feet to my eyes, I am in constant partnership with the space in which I perform, seeking to both become a part of, and transform it as I go. 

Songs Stuck In My Body 

[one-woman show]

“Songs Stuck in My Body” is a dance-theater solo that takes the audience on a romp through the residue of childhood. The autobiographical piece unfolds through a series of scenes, each pairing an improvisation task with nostalgic artifacts from girl scout songs to beanie babies. At once comedic and deeply personal, the piece asks “What do we do with memories that no longer fit?”

Currently touring as a 45-min show
 

Performer: Sarah Chien

Director/Collaborator: Lauren Hlubny 

Visit show site for detailed performance history.

 

rollercoaster

In solo practice you are just meeting/confronting/fighting yourself again and again. Stepping into the studio is my ring. This piece is about fighting with all the internal and external forces that pull on my emotions on a daily basis: self-doubt, social pressures of different identities (#mixedrace), and my wants/worries/fears.
 

5 min solo suitable for small or large spaces, available for touring.

Performer: Sarah Chien

Director/Collaborator: Lauren Hlubny

Performed at: Joe's Pub (NYC) as part of DanceNow 2019; Performance Garage, Philadelphia (work-in-progress)

 

therside collective

[international improvisation collective]

We are an international, self-determined, improvisation collective. We create improvised dance + music performances using our bodies, our instruments, our voices and our (poetic) imagination. We are constantly researching new ways to maintain collaboration across physical distance, to instantly compose and to build our dreams with the resources we have. In our current form, we are 5 dancers and 3 musicians from Greece, Poland, USA, Switzerland, Italy and Aruba/Netherlands. The cornerstone of our process is an annual residency tour hosted by one of our members in their home country.

Currently scheduling residencies. performances, and teaching internationally
 

Performed at: T3 (Bratislava 2018), Studio 12 (Bratislava 2018), Studio 29A (Thessaloniki 2019), Drama Amphitheater (Drama 2019)

Core Members: Sarah Chien (USA), Vicky Angelidou (GR), Francesca Caselli (IT), Sarah Chien (USA), Susanna Grob (CH), Agata Gregorkiewitz (PL)

Found Playground, working title

[work in progress]

We are interested in the radical elevation of joy and playful curiosity as a form of future-making. We embrace the adventurous spirit and inherent risk-taking of improvisation, the discipline that brought us together.  

We install percussion throughout the space, creating a unique sounding architecture for us to inhabit. The instruments we select are all sturdy metal objects- both classical and found- which allow Chien the freedom to both manipulate them as set pieces and the ability relate to them as dance partners.

Performers: Sarah Chien, Caitlin Cawley

Performed at: Chez Bushwick's RECESS, Spectrum NYC, ¡Spontaneous Combustion!

Trading Stillness 

[ongoing collaboration]

Performers: Sarah Chien, Kirin McElwain

Performed at: Riverside Park (DanceSafari), Audubon House at Governors Island, Triskelion Arts

"Trading Stillness" is a framework for constantly changing our roles in performance. Sound is created from movement, so  listening, waiting, letting the other speak are the same choice in both mediums. Every element-- from dancer to bow hairs to the space itself-- is invited to speak and be still, to propose, to listen, to move and to create sound. Rejecting the structure of accompaniment in favor of a meeting of equals, we construct a language of both sound and gesture.

Performers: Sarah Chien, Emily Faulkner

Performed at: University Settlement as part of Perfomance Mix Festival 32 (2018)

Solo for Two

In Solo for Two, Sarah Chien and Emily Faulkner come together to create the ideal conditions for solo improvisation. Each performer is able to ask for what they need in the moment, drawing from an onstage toolbox of sound, music and time controlled by their partner. 

The work examines how we can actively support eachother even while we perform what makes us most unique. It celebrates the soloist, and the craft of composing improvisational dance.

Tethered, Part 1

Supported solo exploring how structural limitations can at once liberate us and constrict us. Sometimes we shed structures in hopes of finding freedom, only to realize that they were holding us up.

This was the first product of my research into the “supported solo" concept. I am researching ways that our bodies can literally support each other even while we perform what makes us most unique. How can collaboration support individuality? 

Performers: Sarah Chien, Jhor van der Horst

Research Collaborator: Ethan Meigs

Performed at: The Brick Theater (July 2017)

Hover

Improvised solo in which a performer searches for moments of suspension discovered only through heightened awareness.

A live journey, a physical search. What is revealed in the space between two opposite forces?

Performer: Sarah Chien

Performed at: 

Actors Fund Theatre, Brooklyn (June 2016)  

Lalita Devi, Spain (September 2016) 

Arts on Site, New York City (November 2016)

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